HTM is a collaboration that began in 2002 between the founder of fragment design and curator of global street cultureHiroshi Fujiwara, Nike Vice President of Creative Concepts Tinker Hatfield and NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker.
A meeting of minds initially conceptualized as a means of using unexpected colors and materials to elevate classic designs, HTM (an acronym for Hiroshi, Tinker and Mark) soon became about pushing through new technology and hinting at future applications.
“HTM is a place to play and explore new concepts. We have a lot of freedom to work without the expectations of commercializing something and, as a small team, we can execute incredibly fast. More generally, HTM can be a source of inspiration for the broader design. At times, we have pushed the edges on new ideas for the company. We introduced woven — which I think surprised a lot of people. We were at the forefront of using knit technology with the Sock Dart. And we introduced Flyknit technology with a pack of HTM shoes that really highlighted what the new process could do aesthetically.” Mark Parker
As Nike’s most elusive and sort after collaboration line due to its limited quantities, HTM has yielded 32 releases from aesthetic updates of existing classicsto the introduction of performance technologies, such as Nike Flyknit.
Debuting in 2002 with a unique take on the iconic Air Force 1, HTM captured the discerning approach that defined Japan’s connoisseur culture. At a time when luxury sneakers were not so common the HTM Air Force 1 silhouette featured soft premium leather in dress shoe tones of black or brown, subtle details such as “HTM” in the footbed and contrast stitching.
In 2004, HTM evolved to highlight new concepts in design with the Nike Sock Dart. A glimpse into the future, the Sock Dartchanneled the groundbreaking spirit of the pioneering Nike Sock Racer of the 80s, and utilized a computerized knitting technology on its upper, offered extra support with its fastened silicone strap and was built on a particularly progressive-looking sole unit.It was an important step toward what eventually became flat-knit construction with Flyknit.
Eight years later, Nike’s work with knit would take a major leap, as the company introduced its revolutionary Flyknit technology. HTM served as the ignition point for the new concept, introducing the supportive, lightweight and waste-reducing technology on the Nike HTM Flyknit Racer and Nike HTM Flyknit Trainer+.
In 2014, HTM touched performance basketball for the first time. The KOBE 9 Elite Low HTM marked the first low-cut Nike Flyknit hoops shoe in history, transcending the boundaries between court and culture.
“The KOBE 9 Elite Low HTM gave us the opportunity to celebrate how much Flyknit had evolved. What was first used for running could now be used for the intense, diagonal movements of basketball.” Hiroshi Fujiwara
Flecked laces, anodized HTM aglets and reflective snake scales were consistent with the line’s obsessive approach to detail — and Kobe Bryant’s own unrelenting approach to footwear.
“HTM was all very spontaneous and motivated really by a basic desire to explore and make something interesting. The process is emblematic of how we approach design across the company. Nike is a place where exploration is best done together.” Mark Parker
Wonder what Hiroshi, Tinkler and Mark have in store for us next?…Stay tuned.